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Social Media Tools to Bring Educators Together

Social media can be a great tool for educators to utilize the education community and share/receive ideas for the classroom. Most educators recommend using social media to create a professional network.

One expert, University of Phoenix's academic dean of education, Dr. Pamela Roggeman, believes that "technology can help teachers teach and students learn, but educators need to know about pedagogy and put that first, not technology. Technology can be used to increase collaboration and sharing and to help teachers with organization and planning."

Use this list Education World has compiled for you in order for you start getting in touch with teachers all over the country.

1. Twitter Chats

One of the best tools for educators is educational twitter chats. Twitter chats begin when educators agree on a specific hashtag to discuss different topics in the education realm.

This site will help you keep track of the different organized education chats that occur every day of every month. There's plenty of them daily, and they cover planned topics such as #edBookTalk, #TeacherWellBeingChat, #GiftedEd, #MathChat, and so many more. 

"If you do participate at the agreed upon time, you’ll see the tweets stream in live and participate in said conversation (via twitter) in what is nearly real-time. But if you can’t make it, the great part about a hashtag is that it does the sorting for you. You can search for messages assigned to a given hashtag anytime–tomorrow, Sunday night, or during your planning period next week," said TeachThought.com.

Educators across the country participate in Twitter chats, and therefore it allows you to get involved in a community and establish relationships with like-minded, passionate educators like yourself.

2. Voxer

Voxer is a push-to-talk app that allows users to voice record and send and receive text and picture messages. Many educators have said Voxer is a useful tool to them because, like Twitter chats, it enables them to get in touch with an education community.

"With a variety of backgrounds in education and technology, all of us seemed to work in positions where there's a tendency to feel 'alone'. Voxer offered us the chance to belong to a virtual 'department' of sorts. We began sharing our struggles and successes via Voxer," said one educator and Voxer user on Voxer's blog

Voxer is seen as a supplement to chats like Twitter because it allows for educators to hear each other.

"We loved Voxer so much because we could hear each other. We heard passion, excitement, disappointment, frustration, a variety of feelings that are hard to translate through written word. Immediately, the dynamics of how we communicated and what we communicated evolved," the user said.

3. Pinterest

Pinterest is great for educators because it provides great craft ideas and allows you to easily share your own. Many educators recommend Pinterest, which is "a free virtual bulletin board where users pin videos and images captured from around the web." http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/06/educators-guide-to-use-of-pin...

Teachers find that Pinterest is a good source of inspiration for them, especially for fun and innovative lessons. Use this site to find specific Pinterest accounts that cater to education and focus on providing teachers with resources.

4. Instagram

Another way for teachers to use social media to get ideas for the classroom is through Instagram. By checking out other educators on the photo-sharing app, you can get new ideas or let them know about yours to create conversation.

For instance, one Instagram-using educator, Mrs. Dixon, runs an account called Teaching Special Thinkers. The account features things like #teachertalktuesday and overall includes creative activities she uses with her students to create special thinkers. You can get to her account and several other popular teachers on Instagram here

Also, check out Education World's guide to using Instagram in the classroom, too.

 

 

 

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/13/2015

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